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New unit boon for thousands with cancer

By Zinhle Mapumulo | Mar 19, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

PEOPLE in North West who have cancer will no longer have to travel to Gauteng for treatment.

PEOPLE in North West who have cancer will no longer have to travel to Gauteng for treatment.

This after the provincial health department opened a radiation oncology unit at the Klerksdorp Hospital last week.

The long-awaited unit was officially opened on Friday by MEC for health and social development Rebecca Kasienyane. It is expected to provide treatment for more than 900 cancer patients.

The R56,3million unit, the latest in modern technology, includes a linear accelerator, a digital treatment planning system, a 16 slice CT scanner and simulator.

"The unit is part of the department's priority to ensure access to basic healthcare services by bringing services closer to the people," Kasienyane said.

"We have managed to build many health infrastructure facilities in remote areas of our province over the past 15 years but this oncology unit is a launch pad for more state-of-the-art facilities to be build within our local communities" she said.

In the past cancer patients from North West had to be treated at Gauteng hospitals at a cost of about R380000 each a year.

"The unit will continue to work closely with non-governmental organisations in the province, such as the Cancer Association of South Africa and other relevant hospices in support of cancer and related diseases," the health MEC said.

Kasienyane called on nurses to "improve their attitude" following patients' complaints about intolerant behaviour.

"We cannot afford bad attitudes from our nurses. We need more nurses and the whole country is running short of health professionals but we cannot tolerate negligent behaviour."


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